‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.’
― Helen Keller
In his 2008 book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell argued that an individuals’ success was not just about innate ability. He highlighted a unique combination of talent, opportunity, 10,000 hours of practice (mastery), as well as cultural legacy as key indicators of success. While Gladwell’s insight is both profound and enlightening, it underplays one key factor – risk.
Call it what you want – faith, trust or courage – but, anyone who has accomplished anything of significance in this life has risked in meaningful and real ways.
If you’re deeply honest, the one thing that is holding you back in life is You.
The key to success in almost any arena in life is our ability to take a step into the unknown…to risk rejection, failure, heartache and embarrassment. Here’s three simple principles for making sure you’re risking in healthy ways…
Know Why You’re Stepping out in Faith…
It may sound counter-intuitive, but the most dangerous place you can stay is right where you are today. Chuck Lindbergh’s maxim holds true – to live without risk, is to risk not living. Leaving the known for the unknown is indelibly an act of faith. Yet, personal and professional advancement, change, insight and impact all require a certain amount of guts. Understanding the future you hope to create will clarify your reason for taking that step of faith.
Have the Resources to Make the Most of the Opportunity…
It makes no sense to take unnecessary risks. Thinking through the cause and effect of your choices in relation to your strengths, knowledge, gifts and resources is essential to ensure you take a calculated risk. If at the end of the day you lack the awareness or ability to see the opportunity through – whether it’s a business deal or new relationship – it may not be worth stepping out in faith, just yet.
Don’t Go It Alone…
This life is about relationships. A future that isn’t built around genuine community -one that doesn’t help others in meaningful and lasting ways – is not worth striving for. When we risk with and for others, we end up creating a depth and quality to our relationships that not only calls out the best we have, but also empowers others to become their best selves. Trust is active, not passive because failure, rejection and heartache will inevitably be experienced when we risk living, loving and leading.
So, what is one healthy risk should you should be taking?
Be honest, be you.
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